Friday, August 08, 2014

Daily 2 Cents: Jonestown Victims' Remains Found 35 Years Later -- Sounds From the Canal -- Study...Can Dead Communicate Through Electronics?


35 years after Jonestown massacre victims’ remains found at funeral home

Thirty-five years ago, funeral directors in Delaware struggled to quickly bury and cremate the remains of more than 900 people who died in a suicide-murder in Jonestown, Guyana, many of them Peoples Temple followers who drank cyanide-laced punch.

Some bodies that arrived back in the U.S. at Dover Air Force Base in 1978 were claimed by families. Some were cremated. Others were buried in a mass grave in California.

On Thursday, officials revealed that not all had been brought to a final resting place. The cremated remains of nine Jonestown victims were discovered in a decrepit, now-shuttered funeral home in Dover, officials said. The discovery reopened wounds.

"All the survivors in touch with me are traumatized because that door had been closed," said Jonestown survivor Laura Johnston Kohl, now a retired teacher from San Diego.

"Whatever journey the ashes took in the U.S. is secondary. The first issue is how do we settle it to make sure the ashes are where they belong ... at Evergreen where everybody is," she said, referring to the cemetery that is the site of the mass grave.

Hundreds of children and a U.S. congressman died at Jonestown, and 911 decomposing bodies were brought to Dover Air Force Base, home to the U.S. military's largest mortuary. The base has handled mass casualties of both military personnel and civilians from wars, the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon and the NASA Challenger and Columbia space shuttle missions.

As the bodies were identified, the military asked about a half-dozen local funeral homes to help the families make arrangements.

Last week, though, the ashes of nine victims were found neatly packaged and clearly marked, with the names of the deceased and place of their death included on accompanying death certificates, the Delaware Division of Forensic Science said Thursday. No names were released publicly because relatives hadn't been notified.

"It's just so sad, for me as a survivor," said Yulanda Williams, 58, now a sergeant with the San Francisco Police Department. Williams spent a decade with the Peoples Temple, including three months in Jonestown, named after the group's founder, Jim Jones. She left with her 8-month-old daughter before the massacre.

"You consistently wind up finding yourself trying to heal but having your wounds opened up again when new information is given," she said.

"We would do what they wanted, either cremation or send the bodies back home. Most of them were sent back home," said funeral director William Torbert Sr., 79.

Funeral directors say it is not uncommon for family members to never retrieve cremated remains.

The Jonestown remains were found at the former Minus Funeral Home after the property's current owner, a bank, called, according to Dover police and public records. They also found 24 other containers of marked, identified remains, and five containers of remains they could not immediately identify, said Kimberly Chandler, spokeswoman for the Delaware Division of Forensic Science.

The dilapidated former funeral home in Dover had a padlock on the double front doors. The building showed few signs of its former use, although a floral design was etched in glass panes at the entrance. Dead vines hung from the building's white plaster walls, and cracked windows were repaired with blue tape.

Jones ran the Peoples Temple in San Francisco in the early 1970s. He founded a free health clinic and a drug rehabilitation program, emerging as a political force. But allegations of wrongdoing mounted, and Jones moved the settlement to Guyana, the only English-speaking country in South America. Hundreds of followers moved.

On Nov. 18, 1978, on a remote jungle airstrip, gunmen from the group ambushed and killed U.S. Rep. Leo Ryan of California, three newsmen and a defector from the group. All were visiting Jonestown on a fact-finding mission to investigate reports of abuses of members.

Jones then orchestrated a ritual of mass murder and suicide at the group's nearby agricultural commune, ordering followers to drink cyanide-laced grape punch. Most complied, although survivors described some people being shot, injected with poison, or forced to drink the deadly beverage when they tried to resist.

Many of the bodies were decomposed and could not be identified. Several cemeteries refused to take them until the Evergreen Cemetery in Oakland, California, stepped forward in 1979 and accepted 409 bodies.

The remaining victims were cremated or buried in family cemeteries over the period of several months following the massacre. - Canadian Press

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Sounds From the Canal

The past couple of weeks I've had a reverse sort of insomnia. Instead of not being able to go to sleep, I wake early. It's not that bad yet, although I'm starting to fall asleep a few hours before I should if I want to get back on track. I've gone from waking up at 5:00 am to waking up around 3:30 am. My morning routine consists of making coffee, opening the blinds, sliding the glass doors to the lanai open, and letting my dog out. For those that may not know what a lanai is, it's an outdoor screened porch or extra living area usually housing a pool. I also live on a canal which is behind the pool area. There's a deck down there, too. Most people use them for their boats but I don't have one yet. I use mine for fishing and I've got a fire pit and some chairs around it. Too brutally hot right now for fishing or a fire pit, I probably won't use it again till November.

My morning routine also includes checking my email, leads on my phone and reading a few stories in /r/nosleep. I've had some scares in the morning, spooked myself actually, especially after reading something with the words containing, "Don't look behind you". Yeah, haha...

The past few mornings I've been hearing some strange sounds coming from the canal. I know they are strange because I haven't heard these kind of noises before. Ever. Not even once in the three years and insomniac hours that I've lived here.

The first time it happened I'm drinking my morning coffee and checking my email before I head here to get my daily dose. Out of the blackness came a huge splash in the canal. A few seconds later I hear a muffled cry (?) and then another huge splash. As my brain is trying to process this in a few scary seconds, I reason with myself that it must have been a gator. A big ass gator. Nothing else could be responsible for that size of a splash in the canal. However, this reasoning just doesn't sit right with me because I heard that cry. What the hell was that? I puzzled over this all day at work. It was in the back of my mind even when I sold that old Tahoe to the young couple with the baby. Oh, yeah, I'm a car salesman, let it rip on me. I can't say they aren't all sleezy anyway. After awhile I came to the conclusion that the cry I heard must have come from a coon or a possum. Somehow it must have leaned over one of the docks and met its demise in the jowls of an alligator.

There's only one downside to this explanation though. I haven't seen any gators. I saw a pretty big one when I first moved here, hell she must have been 7 or 8 feet long, but the authorities moved her because she got so big. There was a baby around a little while after that, I called her Lucy, but I think she got too big because I haven't seen her in a couple of years. Anyhow, now that I've come up with this theory I have to hold onto it. I've heard the same thing repeated every morning since. Sometimes the cries are louder, sometimes more muffled, sometimes it happens more than once. I have to believe its a gator. Despite the fact as soon as it's daylight I go check the canal and find nothing. Despite the fact my neighbors haven't seen a gator. I have to believe it's a gator. It's getting closer. - Reddit.com

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Chinese fishing boat captain Cai Chengzhu caught a two-ton whale shark, bound it to the top of his truck with rope, and headed to the market to sell it, despite it being an endangered, protected species. The massive creature attracted a crowd of onlookers in Yangzhi county, Fujian province, which took pictures and posted them on the Chinese equivalent to Twitter.

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Study Explores Whether the Dead Can Communicate Through Electronics

Dr. Imants Barušs at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada, has conducted two studies attempting to verify reports that deceased persons have communicated to the living through electronic devices.

In the first study, he was able to reproduce this phenomenon in a weak sense, he said, but not a strong one. This study was published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration in 2001 and detailed in the Epoch Times article “Fascinating Study of Purported ‘Phone Calls From the Dead’ Phenomena: Some Confirmation.” He and his team recorded the static between radio stations under controlled circumstances and while talking to any spirits that may be around; they heard what could be construed as some words or phrases in the recordings. His results hinted that the so-called “electronic voice phenomenon” (EVP) may exist, but the results were not sufficiently anomalous to be considered a replication in a strong sense.

His second study, published in 2007, attempted to address some weaknesses of the first. Instead of using the static between stations, which was more open to interpretation by the listener, he used computer programs that would randomly generate letters and whole words to see if anomalous phrases would appear.
If the researchers saw a pattern or bias that deviated too far from what could be expected to appear by chance, it could indicate that a spirit was influencing the machine to convey a message. Read more at The Epoch Times

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